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What to do if you are having a heart attack on your own


Posted by Jo O'Donovan   |   30 Jul

Categories : First Aid

What to do if you are having a heart attack on your own

Don't believe the "Cough CPR" Myths that are circulating Facebook. The British Heart Foundation give information on their web site about what to do if you suspect that you are having a heart attack. Here is a summary:

A heart attack happens when your heart muscle is starved of oxygen-rich blood.  This causes damage to your heart muscle. A heart attack is life threatening.

If you think you or anyone else is having a heart attack, you should phone 999 for an ambulance immediately. Don’t delay calling 999 because you are uncertain or don't want to make a fuss. The sooner you get emergency treatment for a heart attack, the greater your chances of survival.

What does a heart attack feel like?

The symptoms of a heart attack vary from one person to another. You may feel tightness, heaviness or pain in your chest. This may spread to your arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach. For some people, the pain or tightness is severe, while other people just feel uncomfortable. As well as having chest pain or discomfort you may become sweaty, feel light-headed or dizzy, or become short of breath. You may also feel nauseous or vomit.

Should I take an aspirin if I think I am having a heart attack?

The first thing to do if you think you're having a heart attack is to phone 999 immediately for an ambulance. You should then sit and rest while you wait for the ambulance to arrive. Do not get up and look around for an aspirin. This may put unnecessary strain on your heart. If you are not allergic to aspirin and have some next to you, or if there is someone with you who can fetch them for you, chew one adult aspirin tablet (300mg).  However, if they are not nearby, the person should stay with you, they should not go hunting for aspirin.

For more information why not go on one of our first aid courses here.


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